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Linking extension educators, emergency managers, and community officials to enhance resilience and reduce the impact of disasters in New York communities.
Winter Storms

 Heavy snow, ice storms and extreme cold can cause  severe property damage and also put human and animal lives at risk. Accurate predicting of winter storms can help people prepare by making sure they have adequate fuel, food and other supplies on hand, but an unexpected change in wind direction can result in major snow accumulation in a localized region. In New York, this is often referred to as lake-effect snow because it generally involves geographic areas near Lake Erie or Lake Ontario.

Terms to know:
Winter Storm Outlook - storm conditions are possible in the next 2-5 days.
Winter Storm Watch -   storm conditions are possible within the next 36-48 hours.
Winter Weather Advisory - weather conditions may be hazardous.
Winter Storm Warning - severe winter conditions have begun or will begin within 24 hours.

Click on links below for specific issues: 

Winter Preparedness     Safety Issues   

Snow Loads on Roofs     Tree Damage & Recovery


Preparedness Resources

Winter Safety  guide for winter preparedness and survival developed jointly by CCE of Warren County and the Warren County Disaster Preparedness Office.

Safety tips for winter - NYS Office of Emergency Management Office (NYS OEM)

Winter Storms and Extreme Cold - Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).



    Safety Issues

    Winter Weather: Indoor Safety - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

    Safe Operation of Emergency Generators - recommendations for safe residential and farm use of generators during power outage situations.  Cornell University

    Portable generators in emergencies  - U.S. Fire Administration

    Dealing with mold issues and removal  from long-term power outages. Dept. of Design and Environmental Analysis, Cornell University

    The safe use of chain saws when removing downed trees or limbs. University of Missouri 

    Roofs on Barns and Houses

    Snow loading, the downward force exerted on structures by the weight of accumulated snow, may result in damage to roofs or the actual collapse of the roof itself. In addition to snow accumulation there are other conditions that may contribute to snow loading problems and the potential for roof collapse:

    (1) adding insulation to the roof without ventilation may cause condensation & eventual rotting of the rafters or deck;

    (2) re-roofing with three or more layers of shingles;

    (3) not correcting observable symptoms of structural problems.

    Cornell University resources:

    Attic condensation problems and ice dams can lead to extensive damage to home roofs. 

    Heavy Snow Loads can lead to barn roof failure.

    Barn roof collapses in New York State (1999 analysis). 

    Dos and Don'ts of Barn Snow Removal​

    Tree Damage: Assessing and Recovery from Storms

    NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC):

    Storm recovery kit - National Arbor Day Foundation addresses Can These Trees Be Saved?, Tree First Aid, and Watch Out for Scam Artists.

    The Tree Emergency Manual for Public Officials  - Community Forest Education Project, Cornell Cooperative Extension,  Monroe County, NY

    Urban tree management: Community Forestry Program, Cornell University

    Find a certified tree arborist -  International Society of Arboriculture

    Tree Emergency Plan Worksheet - For: Urban and Community Foresters, Community Leaders, Public Works and Parks Departments, Planners, Councils, and other Public Officials

    Forests and Maple Sap Production

    University of New Hampshire (1998 Ice Storm):

    Forest Manager Resources: USDA Forest Service Northeastern Research Station